Open Letter from the Mayor

The District of Kitimat is disappointed that the Union did not accept the Final Offer. That offer was fair, reasonable and balanced.  It included many improvements to wages and benefits and addressed many of the Union’s concerns in safety and other areas.

The District will now retain the services of an external negotiator. The Final Offer is off the table to give the external negotiator maximum flexibility to negotiate a collective agreement.

Collective bargaining requires flexibility and compromise. The District has been willing and available to meet whenever the Union demanded it. The District’s Committee worked tirelessly to respond to the Union’s demands in over 20 days of bargaining. The Union made few or no moves.

As recently as April 3, 2015, the District’s Committee returned to bargaining. The District’s Committee offered more concessions. The Union remained rigid in demanding such things as wage parity with RTA. The Union berated and harassed our staff, shouted profanities at them and commanded them to leave.  Bargaining then ended. The Union repeated some of the same behaviour at the Council meeting of April 7, 2015.

The Union has spoken at length about wanting a respectful workplace. As with the Union’s rigidity and inflexibility at bargaining, its demand for respect is a one-way street. Since the start of bargaining, the Union has attacked administration in a personal way by ridiculing, demeaning, harassing and bullying people who are your neighbors, friends and simply trying to do their job.

Council cannot continue to expose staff, who also have the right to a safe workplace, to the Union’s bullying and harassment. As the Union refused to accept the Final Offer, which would have employees returning to work tomorrow, Council has retained an external negotiator in order to conclude a collective agreement in a timely manner.

Sincerely,

Phil Germuth

Mayor